Pew's home visiting project helps states and federal policymakers advance effective approaches to home visiting funding, administration, and accountability. We work in states where key decision-makers and advocates are determined to increase families’ access to support and coaching programs that are shown to achieve meaningful outcomes. We also recommend continuing the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program, a federal-state partnership that has catalyzed states’ existing efforts.
To date, Arkansas, Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Vermont have enacted
laws to ensure that their home visiting dollars produce positive results for new parents and their babies and a solid return on taxpayers’ investment. One important part of these reforms is a requirement that most state home visiting funds be directed to programs with rigorous evidence proving their effectiveness.
To help states achieve this goal and ensure that desired outcomes are being reached, Pew's home visiting project has developed a model policy framework with
six elements that promote meaningful monitoring, accountability, and quality of voluntary home visiting programs, as well as sustainable funding to ensure the best outcomes for families. A model state policy should:
- Clearly define the purpose and expected outcomes of the home visiting program.
- Invest in programs that have a proven record of success.
- Track public dollars.
- Monitor and evaluate publicly funded programs to ensure effectiveness.
- Target vulnerable communities and/or high-risk populations.
- Invest enough money to reach all eligible families.
Recognizing that each state is at a different stage in the development of its home visiting services, the framework provides a variety of policy options and examples. States can use it to create solutions tailored to their needs, taking into account existing home visiting programs, investments, and laws.
Pew is also working with several states and other stakeholders through the Home Visiting Data for Performance Initiative to enhance their use of data to assess program performance and ensure that home visiting efforts are resulting in meaningful outcomes for participating families and children and a solid return on investment for taxpayers. Stakeholders have worked to identify common indicators that will be useful to improve program quality, build the knowledge base, and most importantly, measure impact.
In addition, Pew is assisting several states that have passed accountability legislation with building the infrastructure and processes necessary to collect the data needed for reporting on home visiting outcomes.